No photo of Robert Meckin

Robert Meckin

Dr

Personal profile

Overview

Science and technologies impact our lives every day. I study how different ‘technosciences’ emerge and to answer questions about how science is shaped in material, organisational and rhetorical ways. Along with contemporary shifts in science and engineering research I am interested in interdisciplinary research, both working with other disciplines and studying how others accomplish collaboration and innovation. This had led me to my current focus on methodological developments and research infrastructures in both natural and social sciences. I am involved in scoping out research training needs for UK social science. 

Research interests

My work has mostly focused on the field of synthetic biology - an engineering approach to biology - where proponents hope to standardise biology to make it easier to engineer and solve global challenges. I am also interested in how nonscientists make sense of scientific knowledge and innovations and how they work with them in their everyday lives. In other projects I have explored nuclear decommissioning collaborations between Ukraine and UK and, separately, researcher development initiatives. In line with the latter, I was a founder of the Postgraduate Forum for Science, Technology and Innovation studies (PFSTIS), which supports PhD students and Early Career Researchers.  

Biography

I originally trained as a biomedical scientist at the University of Sheffield and was interested in drugs used to treat conditions such as schizophrenia. I worked for two years researching the biochemical side effects of antipsychotics before deciding to try other things. I spent time as a confectioner, in hospitality and the marketing profession, before retraining as a teacher of science and, while looking for funding for an Ed.D., stumbled upon the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) in 2012. I completed my Ph.D. (University of Sheffield) four years later and moved to the University of Manchester where I am currently a Presidential Fellow in Sociology. 

Supervision information

I welcome prospective PhD students who are interested in the following: 

  • Knowledge production in the physical and biological sciences 
  • Research infrastructures 
  • Methodological innovation and experimentation 
  • Theoretical work in relation science and technology studies, actor-network theory and nonhumans. 

Teaching

In 2019/2020 I have minimal teaching commiments. Previously, I led postgraduate seminars on Dr Andrew Balmer's excellent module on "Secrets, Lies and Mass Deception"; supervised Level 3 student dissertations and led undergraduate seminars on the "Sociological Imagination" and "Sociological Methods" modules at The University of Sheffield

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Making Research Translatable: Articulating and Shaping Synthetic Biology in the UK, The University of Sheffield

1 Sept 201229 Jun 2016

Award Date: 29 Jun 2016

External positions

Finance officer, Postgraduate Forum for Science, Technology & Innovation Studies (PFSTIS)

1 Oct 2018 → …

Convenor, Postgraduate Forum for Science, Technology & Innovation Studies (PFSTIS)

1 Jul 20151 Oct 2018

Areas of expertise

  • HM Sociology
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Biotechnology practices
  • Everyday practice
  • Collaboration
  • Translation
  • Interdisciplinarity

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Biotechnology
  • Digital Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute
  • Manchester Institute of Innovation Research
  • Cathie Marsh Institute

Keywords

  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Creative and sensory methods
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Collaboration
  • Synthetic biology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics where Robert Meckin is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or
  • Science for the Visually-Impaired

    Nicholas Weise (Co-Organiser), Emma Norgate (Participant), Robert Meckin (Participant) & Balaji Lakavath (Participant)

    27 Jun 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etcResearch

  • Social and Machine Learning Workshop

    Robert Meckin (Chair)

    18 Jan 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etcResearch

  • PFSTIS workshop:

    Robert Meckin (Co-Chair) & Cian O'Donovan (Co-Chair)

    5 Dec 20176 Dec 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etcResearch

  • ScienceX 2017

    Nicholas Weise (Organiser), Robert Meckin (Participant), Barbara Ribeiro (Participant), Ajanta Chakraborty (Participant), Rosalind Le Feuvre (Participant), Sarah Montgomery (Participant), Danielle Mcdougall (Participant), Naa-Dei Nikoi (Participant), Natasha Eccles (Participant) & Charlotte Hands (Participant)

    22 Apr 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etcResearch

  • British Science Week Schools' Fair 2017

    Nicholas Weise (Organiser), Robert Meckin (Participant), Barbara Ribeiro (Participant), Joanne Porter (Participant), Heidi Fisk (Participant), Syed Ahmed (Participant), Mary Ortmayer (Participant), Sandra Taylor (Participant) & Emily Kempa (Participant)

    14 Mar 201717 Mar 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etcResearch